What do you want to be when you grow up?
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" I feel as a child this is a reoccurring question. Then the pressure is on--society expects us to know this answer by the time we reach the age of 22. But the truth is most people don't figure it out that quickly, that is if they figure it out all. I mean there are the few fortunate ones like that 5 year old that knows they want to be an astronaut or athlete, and it works out. Or people who go to college and decide they want to be a lawyer/teacher/doctor, and they actually want to be a lawyer/teacher/doctor and it works out. And for some all they want is to be a housewife (or househusband) , that works out too. But for most people it's complicated, and it takes a lot longer. I am one of those people.
Here I am, 29 years old--soon to be 30 in February. And I am not sure how much progress I've made in this journey. But I think the time has come to make a decision. I am giving myself another year or so and then I have to make a decision. Am I going to continue to pursue a career in the media or am I going to take over the family restaurant business. And whatever choice I make, I hope that leads me to answer "what do you want to be when I grow up?" Because at this moment I really don't know. People always ask me what kind of job I am looking to do? What do I mean by- "I want to work in the media." To be honest-- it's complicated. It's always been complicated. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't still be slaving away still at the family restaurant business.
There was a time that I was obsessed with z100's Elvis Duran and the morning show on the radio. I had my eyes set on working there and was determined that one day I will. They were the only thing that got me by on long morning commutes to my boring office jobs. Elvis Duran was the highlight of my day. I spent 8 hours of my life at work and the most enjoyable part was sitting in the car beforehand for an hour in miserable traffic listening to the morning show. Okay maybe my job just sucked, but these people spoke to me in a way others didn't. I followed all the members on social media and felt like they were my friends even though they had no idea who I was. Then at one point, opportunity presented itself and I met some of the members in person and tried to make friends with them, only to end up just humiliating myself (that's another story in itself). But I don't care, I still loved the show, I still loved them. I felt like I connected with them. We had a lot in common. Good hearted, goofy people with a sense of humor. They were fun, weird, kind of annoying, passionate--but most of all they were open. They didn't hide who they were but instead they embraced it---the bad, the good, the deep, and the ugly. And people loved them for that. Oh, and they loved food--eating food, talking about food, appreciating food. All this, and they got paid on top of that. Right up my alley. There were other aspects of the show that also excited me. Talking about current events, meeting and interviewing public figures, running to the street to interact with strangers for various segments, and taking listeners phone calls and emails. It just seemed right up my alley. I would love to work for a place like this.
Then baseball season comes along and I become obsessed with the New York Mets. Flushing, Queens holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it the birthplace of the New York Mets, but that's where I was born. Being of Greek descent I took many trips between Flushing and Astoria as a young girl. And in between those trips on the Grand Central Parkway I couldn't help but stare in awe at the old Shea Stadium. I was only 5 at time but that was the beginning of a long life love affair with the New York Mets. Since then I have been an avid Mets fan. I've lost count of how many games I have attended over the years, and I can't tell you the amount of people I've broken into their first Mets game. It's not just the Mets I love, it's baseball in general. That the majority of games are played in the summer--my favorite season. Sitting in the ballpark on a hot summer night with a beer and a hot dog in hand is one of my favorite summer activities. But the thing I love most about about baseball/sports in general is how it brings people together. With all the bad things going on in the world today it's a nice distraction that brings people together to have a good time. Then there are the fun events they run during the games. The kiss cam, the 7th inning stretch, interviewing fans to win prizes, and theme nights. These are things that excite me. I can see myself being the person who makes this stuff happen. Or the person who runs the social media accounts for the Mets--traveling the country with the Mets and documenting everything that goes down. Eating, living, breathing--New York Mets. I can see myself doing that too. I would love to work for the New York Mets.
Other times I find myself glued to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc trying to piece together what is going on in the world. And although I am lost at times, I sit there sometimes and watch for hours and hours. One of my favorite shows on CNN is Anthony Bourdain's: Parts Unknown where he travels the world to uncover places that most people people don't know much about. It's really eye-opening. I can totally see myself doing that too. Taking a camera, hopping on a plane, and just traveling to some tiny village on the other side of the world that I've never been to--talking to total strangers, learning about their culture which I don't know anything about, and then sharing those stories. I love listening to other peoples stories. I feel like some people are stuck in a bubble with such a closed mind and only by being exposed to things outside their niche are they able to broaden their mind.
Then there's one of my favorite shows on TV called "What would you do?" with John Quinones. A hidden camera show that tries to portray the good nature of people and heroism by setting up fake scenarios to see how people will act. For example, there was an episode that took place in a diner. Obviously this one hit close to home. They brought in an actress to play a waitress and actors to play a rude table she had to serve. The rude table was being extremely obnoxious and demeaning to the waitress to the point everyone in the restaurant could hear. Of course the waitress and rude table were just actors, however the rest of the restaurant was not in on the set-up. Everything was secretly being recorded and the bystanders had no idea. The show was trying to capture real life reactions to this situation. You could see panic in the eyes of customers who were debating if they should step in, and then there were the people who did indeed step in. Afterwards John Quinones comes out with the crew and tells everyone the situation was fake. Then he further expands on what went to down to see why people decided to step in or not step in. It's just a heartwarming show that exposes the good side of people. It would be cool to assist in producing a show like this.
So when people ask me what am I looking to do you will find it's complicated. But here are some clues, ideas, some sort of direction in which I am trying to take. I still haven't figured it out yet, but I am trying. Maybe I just need a mentor? Maybe I need to try harder? Maybe I should go to grad school. I am not sure. In the meantime I'll be working at the restaurant, doing the best I can at my job, and if the right opportunity presents itself I will take it.